If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?
I have become a little allergic to cloning over the past week since someone cloned my Facebook page, imitated my photos and all my private details, although I must say he was courageous to copy my photo. I even avoid looking at my own mirror reflection these days, changing something like the horror of Oscar Wilde’s book “The Picture of Dorian Gray. The details grow older and more creased even without an evil curse.
Now to the subject of today’s prompt: I am not sure if cemetery would be classified as a cultural institution, although being a cemetery tourist, I find endless possibilities of culture amongst the graves. I had a problem, shall we move Pierre La Chaise, the Paris cemetery to my home town or the National Cemetery in Vienna. I decided on Vienna. It is bigger, more graves and well organised. The Austrians really seem to have a thing about organisation in their cemeteries. Paris is OK, but everything a bit muddled, although lots of artists and writers, very avant guarde.
The Swiss love organisation, especially in the cemeteries. If you are rich you are buried and stay in the same place almost forever. If you are not so rich, you can only stay approximately 25 years in the same place before being dug up and disposed of. I am no expert, but this is the idea. There is always room in Switzerland if you die, you just cannot stay forever.
Vienna is something completely different. They have a graveyard culture, they love their graves and it they are wonderful places to visit when you want to take a walk. Mr. Swiss and I spent a complete day at the National Cemetery in Vienna and we did not even see half of it. I must admit I was doing all the grave jogging. Mr. Swiss preferred to sit on a bench savouring the sun’s rays, but I was successful and found all I was seeking. I was disappointed that they had put the composer Mahler in Grinsing, a smaller cemetery in another part of Vienna, but even that was a worthwhile excursion, especially as the area in Veinna is famous for its wine and good food. Relaxing with a Wiener Schnitzel and a glass of heuriger is always a delight after a cemetery jogging session. .
Imagine this being in my home town. We have two graveyards, the main one where you meet your long gone relations (of say 25 years ago) and ex neighbours. A very social sightseeing trip, but it is limited. The second graveyard I know of is in our village, also very well organised and clean (it is Swiss), but can become slightly boring reading the same names every day.
Vienna is something completely different. You can visit a host of composers, such as the grave above which is The Johann Strauss grave. Next to this is the Johann Straus Father, also in his own private grave. The whole area is very musical, Franz von Suppe, Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert and the daddy of them all Mozart, although the Mozart grave is probably just a tourist attraction. He was virtually “dumped” in a pauper grave and perhaps moved officially to the National Cemetery afterwards, but it is doubted. However, when you see a grave with the name Mozart, it is very impressive.
There is also a Russian section, mainly military from the war I believe: everything written in Cyrillic letters and most imposing. There are a few mass accidents: a mountain catastrophe, a fire etc. etc. something to keep you busy with the camera and with exploring. Yes if this cemetery could find place in our little market town, it would be a hit. The town would probably have to be enlarged to accommodate it.
I was thinking of having a couple of the Egyptian pyramids cloned as well, but we can only have one object, although they would look very decorative and I always wanted a pyramid for myself. On the other hand I think I will have my ashes thrown into the local river: much more organic and environment friendly.
One day I hope to visit Berlin. Of course, not for shopping trip in the Kurfurstendamm, but they have many interesting cemeteries so I would probably have to reserve a week for that one.
Now for something more on the bright side, it is time to prepare the evening meal.